St Andrews Abattoir is to close down within a matter of months - irrespective of any decision taken by Fife councillors on a recently submitted planning application to develop an hotel and quality food store on the site in Largo Road.
The news that the “unsustainable” slaughterhouse could close by the end of the year has been announced by the board of directors and ends several months of speculation as to its future.
Gordon Young, director of the St Andrews company, said:”We have been assessing the prospects of the business over a number of years and, regrettably, have now come to the conclusion that the existing operation in St Andrews is not viable.
“The reduction in business activity combined with other factors makes the operation of the abattoir unsustainable. That is why we have had to look at redeveloping the existing site.
“We hope that the abattoir will remain open until after Christmas and we will of course do what we can, in association with the prospective developers Ashleigh, to help our current employees.”
Ashleigh (St Andrews) Ltd, sister company of the leading construction firm Ashleigh Scotland, propose to build 65-bedroom Premier Inn and a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store on the site in a £7 million project.
The initiative, say Ashleigh, will comprehensively redevelop the brownfield site to improve the environment and amenity of the area.
The food store - providing just under 1000 square metres of retail floor space - will primarily concentrate on foodstuffs and, in a first for the United Kingdom, the Premier Inn will feature a bespoke and secure golf club store as part of the hotel development.
The multi-million pound project will bring approximately 80 full and part-time jobs to the area.
The results of a pre-application consultation to the plans brought a significant local response with an overwhelming number of people positive about the plans.
Alex Steel, of Ashleigh, told the Citizen:”The board of St Andrews Abattoir Ltd. has now confirmed their intention to close. Clearly the business has been under increasing pressure for some years and is unable to carry on or relocate due to financial constraints.
“We are working with local businesses to try and find a more suitable site and premises for a much smaller facility to serve local demand, but it is clear that any new facility will likely require public funding to support it. We will work to help all existing employees to gain alternative employment.”